A Democratic congressman is set to challenge Ted Cruz for his Senate seat

A Democratic congressman from Texas will challenge conservative Sen. Ted Cruz for his seat next year.

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a three-term congressman from the state's 16th District, will launch his campaign Friday, according to Texas media reports. He likely faces a daunting task in unseating Cruz, the first-term Republican who was the runner-up to President Donald Trump in last year's GOP primary.

Republicans currently hold 52 Senate seats, while Democrats control 46 and independents hold two. Texas, a red state, is not expected to be the focus for the minority party. Democratic senators face 2018 re-election in states Trump won including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and West Virginia, among others.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre | For The Washington Post | Getty Images

Beto O'Rourke (D-Tex.) stands for a portrait in the middle of the international bridge between the U.S. and Mexico, Friday, February 10, 2017, in El Paso, Texas.

An O'Rourke Senate campaign website features the slogan "Texas deserves better." On it, he outlines several goals, including seeking congressional term limits and refusing to associate with so-called dark money from large interest groups.

O'Rourke first got elected to his El Paso-area seat in 2012.

Cruz won his Senate seat in 2012 with more than 56 percent of the vote.


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